XL500Scout- Restomod

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by shinyribs, May 12, 2018.

  1. NoelJ

    NoelJ Long timer

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    Brilliant job on that tank! Not much impresses me anymore, but that last picture inside is amazing. You should consider a post over in the Garage section, it'll be part of the collected wisdom forever.
    Bt10, JagLite, shinyribs and 2 others like this.
  2. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    Thanks, man. I appreciate that. But I'm not really breaking new ground here. I started off with Muriatic acid and was struggling with flash rust after several attempts. Baking soda washes to neutralize the acid, sloshing various things inside the tank to prevent flash rust....nothing was working well. So I dug around online and discovered the Prep & Etch (phosphorous acid) trick. The phosphorous won't remove heavy rust fast, but it's a good final wash to cure the flash rust woes. All the info I found came primarily from this site.
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  3. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    Here's a little project I started on a few weeks ago.

    A visual. That's a lot of skinny little fork legs hanging out there. KLR forks aren't known for their natural rigidity in the first place. That front axle is like a little noodle!
    [​IMG]

    You know the test where you check for "English"? Hold the front tire between your knees and see how far the bars move back and forth? Well, this bike had a solid 2" of English :lol3 I've always been skeptical of fork braces...I figured, "who's actually running a dual sport hard enough to flex fork legs?" So, curious to experiment but unwilling to pay for a fork brace, this happened.

    Turned up a couple bits of aluminum and glued them together.
    [​IMG]

    My welding ain't the best looking. But it's improving. These are the start of the leg clamps.
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    Turned another ring that would act as a riser.

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    Split in two, drilled and tapped.
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    The bridge piece is old spare from a CB1100F. Just wanted to lift it high enough for good tire clearance. Just getting things lined up here.
    [​IMG]

    Before I got too carried away I made sure the fork tubes were straight. No sense in bracing a crooked front end. Ever since the crash ( well, there's been several crashes... :D ) I have suspected a bent fork leg, but they checked out perfect!

    [​IMG]

    Actually been riding with the brace for a while now and am quite happy with it. Quite surprised how effective these things can be. Some of the slop that I blamed on dual sport tires turned out to just be steering delay due to a floppy front end. It's feels noticeably more precise on the road now! Not as slim and clean as commercially available options, but it's sturdy and free. :thumb

    [​IMG]
  4. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    Can elaborate more later, but started making a new rear rack this evening. If this rain continues I may get this project knocked out this weekend. Slowly getting this bike exactly how I want it. :)

    [​IMG]
  5. JensEskildsen

    JensEskildsen Long timer

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    Great stuff.
    How's the "English" with the brace?
  6. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    That style of fork brace is surprisingly effective. I was shocked. I see now why Honda was basically using the mounting structures of their front fenders as braces on their early sport bikes. It's worth the few ounces of weight. It's currently the stiffest front end in my shop. Less English than my 2016 FZ07.

    When I first saw how floppy the front end was I compared to the other bikes in my shop out of curiosity. My FZ07 forks were quite rigid, XR400 has a bit of English, but not horrible. A buddy has a Pitster LXR250 parked here that has USD forks. Lots of English in those forks. Somewhere between XR400 and KLR650. Have a CB1100F with CBR600F3 forks using a fender from a VFR that has a stiff aluminum plate to hold the fender to the forks. That front end was the stiffest in my shop until I braced these KLR forks, now they are equal. Both stiffer than stock FZ07 forks.

    But what do you do when you want to know what is the acceptable amount of English in a set of forks? Go measure the cream of the crop that all other bikes are measured by, right? Went to the local dealership and started testing the English of all the bikes there. Long story short, DRZ400SM USD forks are incredibly stiff. That's the most rigid fork I could find in the dealership. Every KTM USD fork I tested was VERY wobbly. Believe it or not, stock XR400 forks make KTM USD's look like wet noodles in comparison. Perhaps that amount of flex is engineered in the forks for a reason, but I was surprised that their USD forks with such large fork bodies/ front axle was 2-3x as floppy as DRZ forks. It was very interesting!
  7. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    Still muddy from recent flooding, so stayed in the shop and finished the rack yesterday. Several reasons for wanting a new rack.
    - Slimmer looks
    -Add additional brake light ( stock was gonna get me killed)
    -Anchor points to keep straps from sliding around
    - Utilize the quick-attach luggage rack extender thingy that works on the back of my FZ07

    Pretty happy with the results! Just a $4.99 trailer clearance light that you can buy at any Walmart, but it's bright. The non-circular holes in the plate are the interface for the SW Motech piece. Holesawing along the bend lines makes it possible to bend the deck without a brake, and gives anchor pockets for the straps while still allowing them to be looped around the smooth rod of the under structure. Things I've learned after failing on racks in the past...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    Straps are below the surface of the deck, so they don't need to be removed for the big extender plate to go on.
    [​IMG]

    The SW Motech setup. I think you can see how it works here.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Small for every day, big plate when you need it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    yeah^^^^the rear of the bike/rack/tail light is tweaked. The two lights are offcenter. So annoying. Can't see if from the riding position though. :ricky

    If anyone with one of these bikes needs the original rear rack give me a shout. I only have one clamp where it fastens to the rear frame of the bike, but it works fine that way. It's a Hondaline. I couldn't cut it up and would like to see it go to a loving home. :D Cover shipping and it's yours.
  8. neppi

    neppi Long timer

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    Looking good, Man! You wouldn’t have the dimensions anywhere written down? What’s the thickness of the plate?

    Cheers!
  9. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    Sorry bud, I rarely ever measure things. Just wing it as I go. I can see what size holesaw I used if it's helpful. The roundstock is 3/8" and the plate is 1/8". The plate is 5052 alloy. That alloy bends easily without cracking. I used 5052 on my XR 400 and it's been knocked around quite a bit without cracking. Twice it got tweaked bad enough that I was forced to bend it back in to shape. The second time I was certain that it would crack, but it's still going!

    It seems everyone wants to see aluminum bits made if 6061, but I'm not sure why. 50 series seem much more resilient. But there's a lot about alloys that I don't understand.
  10. neppi

    neppi Long timer

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    Thank You!

    It’ not rocket surgery, I know, and my bike is different to yours anyway (TT350), so I would’ve tweaked your blueprints anyway...

    Still a lot of useful info there (like in this whole thread, Man!) and a few new ideas for the rest of us copycats to ponder. :)

    Cheers!
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  11. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    If anything here is useful for someone to have more fun with their bike, that makes me happy :clap
  12. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    First, don't haul logging chains in your bags. They're just not built for it :D Nothing needle and thread can't mend.

    IMG_20200530_194610473.jpg

    Went to fill up the gas can. Had just got done washing the FZ 07, but I really wanted to ride the XL. Fuel mileage on the bike came in at 59mpg. Happy to see the smaller front sprocket isn't affecting fuel mileage. That five gallons of gas sitting up tall is about as much as I care to haul on a rear rack. It made home down the gravel road without the new rack falling apart... I'm claiming success :lol3

    IMG_20200531_164333269.jpg

    Oh yeah, finally picked up a new LS2 Pioneer like the one I lost a while back. So happy to be back in one of these helmets.
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  13. Kai Ju

    Kai Ju Long timer Supporter

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    I don't think I'd have the balls to strap a 5 gallon gas can to my bike...having said that, I've got one between my legs every time I ride...
  14. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    You gotta have solid trust in you can's cap, and your strapping philosophy. :D

    Ive been making that trip once a week for a long time now. So far so good!
  15. Kai Ju

    Kai Ju Long timer Supporter

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    Sig line for an experienced motorcycle camper: You gotta have solid trust in your strapping philosophy...and your choice of straps.
  16. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    Breakfast handled. Where to ride today?

    IMG_20200613_083014924_HDR.jpg
  17. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    Ended up riding with a buddy on his WR250F. We goofed off in the woods a bit, but spent most of the day just cruising back roads.

    IMG_20200613_115703551_HDR.jpg

    He informed me that my brake light still sucks :becca But he did bring me a nice gift!

    IMG_20200613_183414194.jpg
    At one point we ran up on this couple parking their car by a gate. It's a public road in the National Forest, but the Gestapo occasionally closes gates for whatever reason. Foot travel only allowed if the gate is shut, but this gate was open. I asked if they knew what was down that road. The guy said " not much, just that big white thing they have on top of the mountain". The lady started clamoring across the inside of the car to let us know we weren't allowed to ride up there. She seemed excited. Consider my curiosity officially piqued. Asked my buddy what he thought and we both agreed the gate was open. Or at least, they should be more careful about closing gates behind themselves :D

    Wasn't really much to see once we got up there. Still don't know what "that big white thing" is.

    IMG_20200613_123317893_HDR.jpg

    Was a fun ride regardless. Took us 5hrs to do about 80 miles. Buddy says he thought he saw a puff of smoke a few times when I was getting on the bike. It's never used huge amounts of oil, but I just happened to top it off this morning, so I measured it when we got back. I used exactly 4oz of oil today. Dang headcover is weeping again. Leakiest engine I ever owned! Don't know how much it burned or how much just dribbled out. Oh well, I really enjoy this bike anyway.

    IMG_20200613_123917497_HDR.jpg

    IMG_20200613_121703449_HDR.jpg

    We stopped at a gas station to grab some food and decided to top off the tanks while we were there. We'd both filled up together in the morning. XL took 0.9 gallons and the 250 needed 1.4 gallons :drink Gotta love them slow turning big bores :thumb
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  18. NVTS

    NVTS Arrivee Secteur Special Supporter

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    You riding sunday?
  19. shinyribs

    shinyribs Thumpers for life

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    I'm game! Whatcha got in mind?
  20. Baroquenride

    Baroquenride Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives.

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    It's mind control! :photog
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